Monday, January 10, 2005

Seesaw

I'm walking a fine line. My teachers are turning a blind eye to my clinical tardiness as long as I continue making unconventional comments during class. I sound narcissistic, though that really isn't the case. A sense of wanton arrogance pervades each of my two classes. I see one student twirling gum around her finger as another models various updos to someone unseen. Some bloke is sleeping to my left as raised hands encircle his reddened face like tacks in the air.

It is unanimous. Heads nod in sync with each other. "Children make the best theorists because of their sense of wonderment!" This idea is repeated ad verbatim.

Excellent, excellent. Where haven't I heard that before?

The Boy raises his hand to speak. The Boy? The Boy is here?

"I think we just aren't allowed to act like children anymore," he said hautily.

Additional thoughts are aired. I put my hand up for the third and last time.

"Going back to that man's idea." The Boy looks over, a bit stunned. "I think our society fetishizes childhood. It is, like [she] said, a recent concept. As adults, we have the benefit of hindsight to envy what children supposedly have when ..." I pause and search for words, "in actuality, it is not what they possess that we seek but what we feel is missing in our own lives that we find troubling. Our loss is then projected on to children whom we contrast and compare ourselves to. The concept of childhood says more about adults than the children living it."

As the teacher waited for someone to respond, I caught a glimpse of the Boy's profile, his eyes looking down at his coffee cup. Either he caught on that I was criticizing people like him or he didn't.

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